Easy To Make Energy Balls

These energy balls are really easy to make and they are great if you fancy a healthy sweet treat.

A good little snack if you are getting the afternoon slump.

Ingredients

70g Almonds

200g Dates

2tsp honey

3tsp cocoa powder

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

Method

If your almonds are whole blitz them in a food processor until they are fine breadcrumbs.

Add the dates, honey and cocoa and blitz in the processor.

Tip the mixture into a bowl.

Place the coconut in a separate bowl.

Roll and compress the mixture into balls, then roll each ball in the coconut.

Give them a try, no cooking involved.

Where Is Your Fat Located?? What Does This Mean For Your Health??

People carry their fat in different places, we are not all the same and depending on where you store your fat does have an impact on your health.

If you gain weight mainly in the abdominal area it is said that you are an apple shape.

If you tend to gain weight mostly on your hips, buttocks and thighs, then you are known as a pear shape. I am a pear shape.

Depending where your body stores the fat does affect your health.

If you are an apple shape, you are at more risk of health problems associated with obesity, such as cardiovascular diseases including high blood pressure, raised cholesterol and diabetes.

If your waist is above 94cm (37in) if you are a man and 80cm (32in) if you are a woman then this indicates that you are carrying excess weight around your middle.

You can’t change what shape you are, it is an inherited characteristic .

You can limit its extent by keeping your weight at a healthy weight and exercising.

I am not saying you can’t have any treats again if you are an apple shape, it is all about eating in moderation. I eat chocolate, cakes and biscuits, but I don’t have them every day and I only have 2 biscuits at a time and not half a packet.

One of the main things to remember is when you are about to eat something is, are you really hungry or are you just bored??

Don’t forget to drink two litres of water a day, because when you are dehydrated you will feel hungry, even though you might just be thirsty.

Have a think are you an apple? or are you a pear?

Enjoy your day.

Why Should You Exercise?

If you are not a person who really enjoys exercise then it can be hard to motivate yourself to do it.

Exercise has been shown to increase self-esteem. When we feel good about ourselves it encourages us to take care of our health and wellbeing and support us in our efforts to change. Try to make some form of exercise a priority and make time for it, because it is vital for your health and it will improve your mental outlook, mood and self-esteem.

Exercise is a fantastic stress buster and just a moderate increase in your level of exercise can leave you feeling calmer and in control. Whenever you feel stressed or anxious, take a long, brisk walk and see if you feel better afterwards. Exercise discharges the stress hormone such as cortisol, that accumulates due to chronic stress. Exercise increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain and stimulates the release of mood-lifting endorphins that relieve pain – a natural opium known as the runners high. These changes in the brain chemistry make us feel euphoric and exhilarated.

It has been shown in several studies that exercise can be as effective as antidepressants or traditional psychotherapy in elevating mood.

The more intensely you exercise, the more of these chemicals you produce, helping you to feel better and better.

If you haven’t exercised for a while then build up slowly, don’t try to do too much at once. If you are recovering from illness build up slowly and don’t over do it. I had Covid in April and im still not back at the fitness level I was before. I have to build it up slowly because if I do too much it will massively impact how I feel the next day and can result in me taking a step backwards.

Below is some of the amazing benefits of exercise:

Maintains weight loss over the long term

Increases resting metabolic rate

Improves strength and stamina

Improves muscle tone

Improves joint flexibility and suppleness

Strengthens back muscles and eases pain

Strengthens heart muscle

Improves lung function

Improves digestion

Helps reduce food cravings and regulates appetite

Slows down the body’s ageing process and helps you look better

Reduces stress and anxiety

Improves mental clarity

Elevates mood

Increases self-esteem and self confidence

Increases energy and reduces fatigue

Increases the production of endorphins, helping you to feel calm

Helps you sleep better

Reduces the risk of heart disease

Lowers blood pressure

Reduces the risk of mature onset diabetes

Improves your insulin/blood glucose mechanism

Reduces cholesterol to healthy levels

It feels good

My main exercises at the moment are yoga and walking.

Yesterday I had a little robin on my walk with me.

Due to the situation we are all in at the moment it is definitely worth trying to do some exercise to improve how you feel.

Go for a walk and enjoy your day.

Discover How To Get Enough Protein When you Don’t Eat Meat

If you don’t eat meat one of the first questions you probably get asked is: where do you get your protein from?

So here is some answers:

Legumes

Legumes are a great source of healthy fats, protein and carbohydrates and include beans, peas, lentils and nuts.

Lentils are widely available and can be added to salads, wraps, curries, soups or stews. Black beans are also a rich source of antioxidants and one of the healthiest legumes you can eat. Legumes contain more protein than any other plant food. They are also high complex carbohydrates and low in fat, so they are a great food.

Quinoa

Loaded with magnesium and antioxidants and fibre. Quinoa is becoming more and more popular with households.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is great for a quick easy snack and brilliant to have after a workout. Due to its high fat and protein content it should help you to feel full and help to get rid of those sugar cravings. Just having one tablespoon equates to 4g of protein. You could also try other nut butters such as almond, cashew, or macadamia. I like to use peanut butter in my own cereal bars. When you make your own you know exactly what has gone into them.

Meat Alternatives

There is a lot of meat alternatives around today and I do think that they taste great. They are packed with plant based protein. For a quick easy meal you could use a meat alternative chicken burger in a bun with a side salad sprinkled with seeds for extra protein. Give it a try before you say “I only eat proper meat”.

Hemp and Chia Seeds

These tiny little seeds are packed with protein and can be added to smoothies, homemade bread or homemade cereal bars.

So as you can see you can get plenty of protein from plant sources if you choose not to eat meat.

Have a good day

What Does Iron Do For Your Body And Why Do You Need It?

Iron is an essential mineral, found in every cell of the body.

It is an important component of the haemoglobin in red blood cells, which carries oxygen around the body.

If you have too little iron, your body can’t make enough healthy oxygen-transporting red blood cells. The knock on effect is fatigued body, which impacts brain function and immunity. Many people do not get enough iron from the food they are eating.

Iron deficiency anaemia is a very common nutritional deficiency in particular amongst children and women of childbearing age.

If you have heavy periods they can leave you lacking in iron and so can pregnancy as your body requires extra iron for your growing baby.

Symptoms Of Iron Deficiency

Tiredness

Lack of energy

Dizziness

Shortness of breathe

Heart palpitations

Pale complexion

Headaches

Sore tongue

Loss of appetite or nausea

Feeling itchy

Hair loss

Difficulty Swallowing

Mouth ulcers

Nail deformities

Cold or numbness in the fingers and toes due to poor blood circulation

Children may become very tired and have low concentration levels

Heme And Non-heme Iron

Dietary iron comes in two forms: heme iron which is found in animal flesh and non-heme iron which is found in plant foods and dairy products. Research suggests that heme iron is more absorbable than non-heme iron. Non-heme iron is better absorbed along side vitamin C.

Good Sources Of Iron Include:

Meats

Fish

Pumpkin Seeds

Parsley

Almonds

Brazil and Cashew nuts

Dates and prunes

Apricots

Chickpeas

Beans

Peas

Spinach

Fortified cereals

Now you can see why iron is so essential and has a huge impact on your body. Try to include iron rich foods in your diet.

Enjoy your day.

Is Your Food Causing You To Have More Headaches And Migraines?

Everyone suffers from headaches and migraines at some time in their life, but for some people their life can be ruined by cluster headaches or chronic migraines. Although the types are physiologically different there are many similarities in the nutritional management. Other factors can also contribute to headaches and migraines.

Have small well balanced meals little and often, with small satisfying snacks is the best plan for eating. One of the most common triggers is low blood sugar levels. Your blood sugar may occasionally drop a little too low or drop too quickly which can trigger headaches and migraines. One of the worst things you can do is eat very sweet food on an empty stomach. This can cause the sugar level to rise too quickly to which the body reacts by providing more insulin, the hormone that breaks down sugar, causing the sugar level to fall again. When you feel low in sugar eat something that is both high in fibre and sweet. This could be fruit, a slice of wholemeal bread with a topping of banana or honey, roast ham or a flapjack. It is advisable to keep snacks like these readily available at work and at home.

Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach, or when you are dehydrated, exhausted or stressed can lead to an enormous headache or migraine the next day. Champagne and red wine which are rich in phenolic compounds are the worst offenders. Next in line is white wine which is very acidic. If you know which drinks affect you more then avoid them or drink plenty of water before, during and after. If you still wake up with a headache try a cup of dandelion tea.

Many people find that the more caffeine they drink, the greater the chance of developing a headache or migraine. Coffee is the main offender here, but caffeine is also present in tea. Caffeine intake in general should be no more than three cups of tea or coffee in a day. This should be reduced if coffee affects you adversely. If you like coffee first thing in the morning then try having it just at weekends, rather than every day. Try other hot drinks to replace coffee such as herbal tea – peppermint, camomile, cranberry and boiled water which you can add a slice of lemon. If you decide to cut caffeine out of your diet entirely, you may suffer from withdrawal headache. This may develop approximately 18 hours after your caffeine fix as your body is being deprived of toxins. You may prefer to lower your caffeine dependence cup by cup over a few days. Also having caffeine when you are hungry, stressed or totting up to ten coffees a day then having another before you go into a stressful meeting can be a trigger for headaches and migraines. This can be caffeine in tea, coffee, cola or chocolate.

There are also other foods that have also proved to be triggers in some people. The foods include processed meats, such as salami and other sausages, mangetout and the flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is found in a lot of ready meals, bottled sauces, crisps and often found in Chinese food. Eating fresh food will mean that you avoid MSG.

Aged cheese can be a trigger. This includes cheddar, blue, brie, parmesan, gruyère and Swiss. Fresh cheese that hasn’t through the process of ageing is a more preferable choice. For instance farmer’s, cottage, cream, American, risotto and mozzarella.

Aged cheese contains more of a substance called Tyramine is formed in foods as they age or are fermented. It comes from the amino acid Tyrosine.

Nitrates are the substances that are added to meat products in order to give them a pink or red colour to preserve them. Unfortunately they can trigger migraines / headaches in particularly sensitive people. Nitrates are found in many sausages, chipolata, chorizo, hot dogs, salami and cooked meats such as corned beef. If you find that these trigger then avoid processed meats that are coloured red, instead try cold cuts of beef, chicken or turkey. Don’t forget to include the fish in your diet.

Lactose may be a trigger that can cause severe headaches. This occurs when the digestive system is deficient in an enzyme called lactase which breaks down lactose found in dairy products for example cream, milk, butter, yogurt, cheese and ice-cream. For many people all that needs to be done is to avoid having too many foods that are high in lactose. You need to be careful that you don’t compromise your calcium status by cutting out dairy products. Consult your own doctor if you are concerned.

Research has displayed results that the metabolism of people who suffer from migraines is slightly different from those who don’t suffer and it seems that foods that are high in copper can cause problems. These foods include shellfish, nuts, chocolate and wheatgerm found in wholemeal bread and other wholewheat products, however you would need to eat quite a lot of these coppery foods before a problem occurred. Rather than completely removing these foods from your diet just reduce the amounts you have.

Sleep is also very a important part of your health schedule, irregular sleep patterns can often contribute to migraines. Over sleeping at weekends can induce migraines as much as under sleeping due to stress. Try to get the same regular amount of sleep each night.

General Advice

Keep a diary of what you are eating and what you are doing to find out if there are any triggers. Some trigger foods can cause a migraine or headache within 20 minutes of eating it, whereas a stressful meeting wouldn’t cause a migraine for a few hours.

Body weight – try to keep your weight within the ideal range for your height. Bring overweight can adversely affect your blood pressure and this heightens the potential for migraines headaches.

Water – are you dehydrated? Dehydration commonly brings on both a headache and poor concentration.

Relax – it is vital to reduce both physical and emotional stress and taking time out each day even it’s only 15 minutes a day. You will make a great difference to your wellbeing. Even if you can’t identify that it’s stress that provokes your headaches or migraines, you should still take the stress / relaxation aspects of your life seriously.

I hope this information helps as migraines and severe headaches can have a huge impact on your life.

What Can Turmeric Do For You?

Turmeric is extremely beneficial for your health.

It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and used to help treat arthritis, cardiovascular health, diabetes and neurological conditions.

The curcumin in turmeric has proven strong anti-inflammatory properties that block the action of inflammatory molecules in the body.

Curcumin gives it its vibrant colour and is a potent antioxidant that is very effective at fighting free radicals and helps protect the skin, eyes and hair. It assists in keeping them youthful which is what we all want.

It also has anti-bacterial and cholesterol lowering properties.

Curcumin can help reduce the build up of the protein amyloid-b in the brain. Amyloid-b causes oxidative (free radical) damage and inflammation in the brain and is one of the main causes of Alzheimer’s disease. Antioxidants in turmeric help to fight this free radical damage.

I take turmeric as a supplement and every morning I have grated ginger and 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric in boiled water using an infuser teapot.

The bright vibrant turmeric can have many health benefits.

Enjoy your day.

What Can Going Green Do For You?

The green group of foods are great at detoxifying and antioxidant.

They help in the fight against wrinkles, which is what we all want.

They contain high levels of sulphur which is known to be good for your hair and skin.

They are also high in minerals like selenium, which boost your immune system and support your metabolism.

Selenium also assists in helping the body to absorb vitamin E.

Green foods can help regulate blood sugar levels and stop you craving sugary fatty foods so can assist with weight loss.

Green foods include:

Asparagus

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Chives

Cabbabge

kale

Kiwi Fruit

Onions

Leeks

Spinach

As you can see it is worth giving them a try when there is so many health benefits.

Karen x

How To Help Your Immune System

This so important at the minute!!!

Your immune system can weaken at times, but you can give it a good boost!!

So here is what you can do to help………

Protein

Protein is the building block for many of the immune system’s key players such as antibodies and the white bloods that search out and destroy germs. Many protein foods are great sources of zinc, iron and many of the B vitamins which are essential for a strong immune system.

Make sure you are eating lean meat, chicken, fish, legumes, eggs, yogurt and other foods that are high in protein.

Pumpkin Seeds

Just 1/2 a cup of pumpkin seeds contains around 5mg of zinc, which one of the most vital nutrients for overall immune function. You can roast pumpkin seeds in the oven for 15 minutes at 150.

Brazil Nuts

These are a fantastic source of the immunity-supporting anti-oxidant mineral selenium. When you are low on selenium your white blood cells are slower to kill off microbes. Selenium also protects from free radical damage. Getting enough selenium rejuvenates immune cells so they are able to fight off the germs. All you need to have is 1 or 2 brazil nuts per day. If you are catching cold going then increase slightly.

Yogurt With Active Cultures

About 70 per cent of your body’s immune cells reside in the gut, so it just goes to show that a healthy gastrointestinal tract means a healthy immune system. Make sure you check the label on the yogurt for Lactobacillus acidophilus friendly bacteria. The more friendly bacteria you have, the less likely you are to be attacked by the nasty bugs. If you buy a live plain yogurt it will be low in sugar as well.

Cup Of Tea

The majority of us like a good cup of tea and now you have a reason to have one. If you haven’t tried green tea or you have and don’t like it, well this might just change your mind. Green tea is a major store house of immunity-boosting compounds including antioxidants like EGCG. Even black tea appears to have some immunity-enhancing properties.

Garlic

A very good friend of the immune system is garlic especially when you eat it raw. It has strong antibacterial properties. It is also good at fighting viruses. Its sulphur compounds are rich in antioxidants. Chop or crush your garlic and let it stand for 10 minutes to fully release the compounds healing potential.

Fruit And Vegetables

Eat a variety of colourful fruit and vegetables as they are a powerhouse of antioxidants, substances that our immune systems need in vast quantities especially when we are unwell or under stress. Stress and sickness increase the body’s production of the rogue, cell-attacking molecules known as free radicals. the damage these do makes us more susceptible to infections, which then means more free radicals. Antioxidants help break this cycle. Try to make sure you have a variety your immune system will thank you for it and so will your bosses when you aren’t always off work with illness.

As you can see it is definitely worth thinking about what you are eating.

Don’t forget to keep drinking water. I start the day with a cup of boiled water and finish the day with a cup of boiled water with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a teaspoon of honey.

Karen x